According to the website, the victims of the communist memorial received donations in memory of fascists and Nazi collaborators
According to a list posted online by the lead organization of the project, Ottawa is building a controversial monument to commemorate the victims of the communist regime. The monument has received donations to commemorate known fascists and Nazi collaborators. .
Part of the funding for the Memorial Hall of Communism Victims came from a “Buy Bricks” campaign called “Freedom Road”, which was run by a registered charity, Tribute to Liberty.
The event sold “virtual bricks” that appeared on the organization’s website and newsletters. These bricks are dedicated to the so-called victims of communism, and include biographies of memorialized individuals.
But some donors seem to be trying to clean up the records of known fascists and war criminals.
An organization calling itself the General Council of the United Croats of Canada bought virtual bricks dedicated to Ante Pavelic, calling him a “Doctor of Law.”
Pavelic was the wartime leader of Ustasha, a fascist organization responsible for managing the independent state of Croatia, the Nazi puppet regime. In this role, Pavelic is the main perpetrator of the massacre in the Balkans. Approximately 32,000 Jews, 25,000 Roma, and 330,000 Serbs were killed by the regime.
If Canada remembers Ante Paveli? or Roman Shukhevych, it can throw its human rights record in the trash.-Efraim Zuroff, Simon Wiesenthal Center
The same organization bought a brick dedicated to Mile Budak, and they simply called it “the poet.” Budak is also a senior official in Ustasha.
References to Budak and Paveli? have been removed from the Tribute to Liberty website.
It is not clear whether the donation has been returned; when asked, Ludwik Klimkowski, who paid tribute to the Freedom Chairman, said it was too early to comment. Another Ustaša official, Ivan Oršani?, is still listed on the website.
An organization calling itself the Knights of Wittz bought five bricks. László Karsai, a professor of history at the University of Szeged, said: “Several members of the order took an active part in the persecution, plunder and deportation of Hungarian Jews in 1944.”
Vitéz members included high-ranking members of the Nazi puppet government established at the end of the war, which deported approximately 437,000 Hungarian Jews. “This is the largest and fastest expulsion operation in the massacre,” Carsay said. “Tens of thousands of Wittz members have obtained large tracts of land from Jewish property.”
At the same time, the Edmonton branch of the Ukrainian Canadian League purchased five virtual bricks to commemorate Roman Shukhevich, who led the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA) during World War II, and To tens of thousands of Belarusians, Jews, Poles and Ukrainians.
Orest Steciw, executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Union, told CBC News that although his organization did sponsor the monument’s bricks, he could not name the people to whom the bricks were dedicated because he was not an executive director at the time.
“If Canada commemorates Ante Pavelic or Roman Shukhevich,” said Ephraim Zurov, a famous Nazi hunter and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, “it can take it Throw the human rights record in the trash can.”
‘They remember what they want to remember’
UPA is an armed faction of the Ukrainian nationalist organization Bandera (OUN-b). Per Anders Rudling, a historian at Lund University in Sweden, wrote critically about Shukhevich. He said that this “Nazi collaborator” believer had been trying to restore his Image.
“Although Shukhevych (and OUN-b) is anti-Semitist and totalitarian, most of his admirers today are not,” Rudling told CBC News. “They remember what they wanted to remember-a sterilized and whitewashed image of a heroic officer.
“Schuchevich was a Nazi collaborator and ethnic cleanser. The troops under his command slaughtered Jews and Poles.
“The monument to the victims of communism is fair and legal. Millions of people were killed by Stalin and Mao Zedong, and there is a case to commemorate them. However, it is strange that those who committed the crime of genocide are being glorified with those who were legal Of the victims together.”
Klimkowski will not comment on the specific names listed on the charity’s website.
He said that the question of the individual being memorialized was “too early” because of the tribute to freedom and the Canadian Department of Heritage is still reviewing the final list of the memorial itself. Klimkowski said this process should be completed in December of this year.
At the same time, Canadian Heritage stated that it is reviewing the list of names proposed for the monument itself, rather than the names listed on the charity’s website.
The Communism Victims Memorial Project has been plagued by problems. The project was supposed to cost 1.5 million US dollars, entirely from private donations, but the amount of funds raised in the early stage of the project was so low that it could hardly cover the operating expenses of Tribute to Liberty.
In 2013, the Harper government pledged US$1.5 million for the project, and by 2014 this figure had increased to US$3 million. By the end of 2014, the project’s budget had surged to US$5.5 million, and taxpayers had donated US$4.3 million.
The Royal College of Architecture of Canada launched a court challenge to the project, arguing that the National Capital Commission (NCC) violated its own public consultation procedures and the rules set out in the National Capital Act.A kind A poll in the spring of 2015 found that most Canadians -Including nearly two-thirds of self-identified conservatives-opposed to the original project.
An NCC spokesperson said that the estimated total cost of the monument is now US$7.5 million, of which US$6 million comes from the federal government. Secretary of the Treasury, Cristia Freeland, added $4 million to the budget this spring Complete the monument.
High-level political support
The monument received letters of support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former Green Party leader Elizabeth May, former New Democratic Party leader Tom Marcher, and former Federal Attorney General Owen Kotler.
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper purchased several commemorative bricks, and Alberta Governor Jason Kenney was also an advocate of the project in Harper’s cabinet. Senator Linda Frum is listed as a heritage donor on the donor page of the monument and has pledged more than $100,000.
Initially, the memorial wall should have the names of 1,000 communist victims, but by the end of 2015, only a list of about 300 had been compiled. The department stated that it is now studying a list of 600 names for possible inclusion in the memorial.
The Canadian Department of Heritage has hired Carleton University historian Michael Petrou to review these 600 names, but will not review the names listed on the Tribute to Liberty website or its newsletter. Petrou told CBC News that there is an overlap between the monument’s name list and the list on the website.
Petru submitted a report to the department in the spring. He said that he had red-marked the names of 600 individuals who cooperated with the Nazis or were associated with fascist organizations active in Eastern Europe and the Balkans during World War II.
Petru said that he also marked personal names that could not reasonably be described as “victims of communism.”
The list of Roads to Freedom seems to contain a very broad definition of “victims of communism” that extends to other obvious victims of political violence and veterans of Cold War-era conflicts.
The list on the website also includes people who do not appear to be victims of the communist regime’s persecution – such as the Sikh journalist and activist Tara Singh Hayer who was assassinated in Vancouver in 1998 and the successful British Colombian businessman Jagat S. Uppal (Jagat S. Uppal). He was one of the first Sikhs to go to Vancouver public school.
The Tribute to Liberty website and newsletter say that the Road to Freedom project features stories about victims of communism, and the memorial wall will display the names of victims and survivors of the communist regime.
“…Visitors will see the names of the donors or their ancestors, as well as the names of historical figures and events important to these donors,” a statement from the Canadian Department of Heritage said that the statement rejected Interview request. “These names will link to a planned website developed and hosted by Tribute to Liberty, which will share the stories of these individuals, groups and events.”
The treasurer said that donations to the monument are now closed
The Tribute to Liberty website stated that it is still seeking a $1,000 donation in exchange for the official memorial on the wall and on the website. A link labeled “Donate Today” on the charity’s website points to PayPal and an auto-loaded $1,000 donation.
But Alide Forstmanis, Treasurer of Tribute to Liberty, said that it no longer accepts donations to the wall. The organization now only accepts $200 in virtual brick donations.
Klimkowski stated in an email that the Tribute to Liberty fundraising activity was completed at the end of 2017, and all necessary funds were transferred to the NCC, which is responsible for overseeing the construction of the monument. An NCC spokesperson stated that Tribute to Liberty sent $1 million in 2017 and another $500,000 in 2018, and did not transfer any additional funds.
“A wider effort to distort the history of the Holocaust”
Zuroff said he was shocked by efforts to portray wartime Nazi collaborators as anti-Communist patriots.
“Since the reindependence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, almost all Eastern European governments — as well as nationalists in the diaspora — have advocated equating the crimes of the Third Reich with the crimes of communism, as this is a distortion of the Holocaust and the Second Part of a broader effort in the history of World War II,” he said.
Some war memorials in Canada have sparked controversy over its relationship with wartime collaborators.Last year, when the Horton Regional Police launched a hate crime investigation, a memorial for the veterans of the Waffen-SS “Galicia Division” made headlines in Oakville Cemetery After the monument was destroyed.
Roman Shukhevich bust outside the Ukrainian Youth Solidarity Center in Edmonton At the end of 2019, it was labeled “Nazi scum”Since some people believe that the behavior may be out of hatred towards a certain identifiable group, the task of the hate crimes and violent extremism unit of the Edmonton Police is to investigate, although the final conclusion is that the act of sabotage is not compatible with hatred. Standards of crime.